Cramer Tries to Decipher Monday's Confusing Action

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Monday felt like I had just walked into second-year Urdu -- and I had missed all of Urdu 101 the year before. I couldn't even pick up the cadence of the day, let alone understand what was happening.

Take

Microsoft

. How many times has

Barron's

slammed this stock only to see it come roaring back intraday, as the shorts capitulated and MSFT' s allies reiterated buy ratings? But when I bought Mister Softee before the market opened at 135, it rallied only for about an hour and I was barely able to get out alive, before

Goldman

lowered the boom on the darn thing.

Or take

Ascend

. I mean, I know I am restricted, the result of a decision to place myself in the Ascend doghouse because of how poorly I have traded that killer stock. But how many times can this stock get downgraded and still go lower? Unless this is the quarter from Hell, this stock should have stopped going down on downgrades three points ago. Will someone please put this stock out of its misery?

Or how about

Kodak

? Here is a company that has pre-announced a half-a-billion times, the kind I love to sit with a basket under knowing that the bad news is "in" the stock. But when it blew-up after the close, the stock looked like it was headed to levels not seen since the

Eastman Chemical

spin-off. Looks like George Fisher is being reviled both for leaving

Motorola

with no good products and for developing no good new products at Kodak. Suddenly Kodak would go up if Fisher announced his resignation. What a turn around. Quite a change from the six point he tacked on to Kodak the day he arrived!

Confusion reigned everywhere on Monday. What was

P&G

doing up two and a half early in the session? How could

American Home Products

open virtually unchanged -- no doubt courtesy of a poorly timed upgrade by Paine Webber -- after one of its most important drugs got hosed by the FDA?

Or the drillers -- which I am long. What makes them go up everyday, even though oil isn't going anywhere? What incredible momentum sustains this group day after day after day.

Can't anybody play this game?

For once, I agree with

Buffett

. Let's go buy some bonds. At least they still rally on bad news.

*************

Random musings

:

McDonald's

is opening in Sri Lanka? I will short this thing until the mad cows come home if they open up in the vegetarian province of Madras, India...

The president of

Oakley

announces on Monday that he's going to buy one million shares. I have heard of getting long and loud, but loud and then long? That's for dopes.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-chairman of

TheStreet.com

. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Mr. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he welcomes your feedback, emailed to

Jjcramerco@aol.com.